Swiss drugmaker Novartis made a big investment in radiopharmaceuticals with the Thursday announcement that it will acquire a United States firm with an oncology drug in late-stage development.
The deal will also enable Novartis to investigate the potential development of a drug candidate for use in earlier lines of prostate cancer therapy, it said. Until closing, Endocyte will continue to operate as a separate and independent company.
That is a great result for Endocyte-its shares rose 50%.
Liz Barrett, CEO, Novartis Oncology, said, "Today's announcement builds on our growing capability in radiopharmaceuticals, which is expected to be an increasingly important treatment option for patients and a key growth driver for our business". Novartis markets the first Food and Drug Administration-approved CAR-T, Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), which is engineered to target CD19, an antigen expressed on the cells of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, for which it is approved.
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"The global reach and expertise of Novartis in developing and commercialising RLT therapies will be critical in efforts for patients to benefit from these therapies as quickly as possible".
Heading up Endocyte's pipeline is Lu-PSMA-617, a potential first-in-class drug for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Novartis traded at $86.22 per share, up about 1%, in a 52-week range of $72.30 to $94.19. It uses a proprietary technology to create novel small molecule drug conjugates and companion imaging diagnostics for personalized targeted therapies.
On Oct. 18, 2018, Novartis announced that it plans acquire Endocyte, a US-based biopharmaceutical company focused on targeted cancer therapeutics.